Training in Second Chance Schools in correctional centers

Training in Second Chance Schools in correctional centers

The European Agenda aims to raise awareness for adults on the importance of lifelong learning, and increase their participation in educational activities. Its aim is to improve the quality and effectiveness of education and training provided, and broaden access to education for low-skilled population groups. Within the framework of the actions for the two years 2016-2017 period there were 4 training seminars in the Second Chance Schools (SDE) in correctional centers and specifically in the Second Chance Schools of Larissa, Thessaloniki, Korydallos, Patras, Chania.

The seminars intended to improve the skills of second-chance Secondary Chance trainers, provide better co-operation of trainers and prison staff, and help understand the role of education in in the particular prison area.

The first seminar was implemented in Larissa on Monday 28/11 (13:00 - 19:30) and on Tuesday 29/11 (08:30 - 13:30), was experiential in collaboration with EPANODOS. Its theme was "Confinement and education: two streets converging or parallel?". It was attended by 13 teachers, 4 prison staff members and 4 employees from the Social Service, prisons and second chance schools of Larissa, Domokos and Trikala. Altogether 21 people participated.

The seminar started with the presentation of the bodies of the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning and Youth. Then, the seminar consisted of experiential activities, scenarios and case studies that mainly concerned operational problems that can be observed in the School. There were discussed cases where the two services are involved as well as possible solutions. Also, information was provided on the contribution of second chance schools to the smooth operation of the prison and the reintegration of prisoners. The peculiarities of vulnerable social groups were examined and a video of the experience of educational intervention through the teaching of theater in Italy was presented.

The seminar was positively evaluated by the participants. Despite the different experiences and views of the participants, they described it as "convergence of views" and "bridging the gap" between trainers and prisoners. They also referred to the limits that stakeholders should know when working in prisons, as well as their need for education.

Conclusion

Prison training in correctional centers reduces the problems of confinement, opens a window for communication and becomes a bridge between learners and society. Participants in the seminar welcomed the participation of officials of the two ministries in a joint seminar and shared experiences, concerns, views and proposals. They stressed the need for similar seminars to be held with the involvement of both prison officers and other officials of the Ministry of Justice at regular intervals.

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